Monthly Archives: October 2016

Online Units – Unit 1 (Section A – Activity 2)

I am currently working through my Online Professional and Academic Units. Although I posted the shorter version of this activity on the section “Personal Audit and Transferrable Skills” on my blog, I thought Id post the full version here.

Activity 2

  1. Complete the audit below, using the information from the table above.
Recognition Reflection Action
Skills already developed How I will use these How do I know (evidence)**
Self-Discipline I will use these skills when studying for exams and in general reading for modules or completing tasks independently. I know I am disciplining myself as I am able to complete tasks and assignments in my own time without anyone reminding me and helping me.
Team work I will be using this in Working together workshops with my peer learning group to complete our agency visit and presentation. I could also use this when studying with other members of the course. We have used teamwork to plan our visit to agency and prepare questions to ask for the visit.
Contribute to Discussions I can contribute in lectures when questioned are posed to us or when in workshops and working as a team to complete tasks or solve problems. I will also be contributing to online discussions with people on my course and my peers. I have contributed to discussions in workshops every week, conveying my ideas to the group in order for us to complete tasks.
Work on own initiative Again, similar to self discipline, I will have to be able to complete assignments and tasks without anyone prompting me. As a student I should be able to get things down independently. I have done this by completing weekly tasks and by reading books of the reading lists. Reading week was a prime example of this as we had no teaching and had to get on with everything ourselves.
Set Personal Goals Goals can be used in a number of ways but two ways a student can use them are:

Setting goals to do each day such as work to get done.

The other could be something more long term such as when to  get an assignment done

I have set personal goals each day of what needs t be done by the end of that day and that week.
Use Technology Technology can be used many ways. Laptops and phones can be used to research and use online resources. It can be used effectively for me to keep in contact with class mates and lecturers. Laptops can also be used to complete assignments. I have typed up all of my lecture notes on my laptop.

I have researched for my assignment and completed online tasks on my laptop as well.

Work under pressure This can be used when having a big workload or having a assignment to hand in. I have had certain work to do for specific dates which I have managed to complete.
Manage Time This like above can be used when many tasks have to be completed and reading has to be done. You have to plan when to do certain tasks in order to get everything completed and to the highest standards. I have managed to plan my work to ensure that everything is completed and is done to the highest quality.
Take Notes This will be used in lectures, you have to be able to take notes fast or abbreviate notes to have the most effective notes possible. I have taken notes in all of my lectures and have managed to use different abbreviations to save me time in order to take down as much vital information as possible, e.g. PROF instead of professional.
Make a presentation This will be used when my peer learning group make our presentation for working together. I am going to use two types of presentation:

Poster for individual part of working together module.

Group Presentation for the other part of working together module.

Problem Solve This can be used in working together workshops when given tasks to do; you will have to work as a team to figure it all out. Also maths assessments to improve our maths and problem solving skills. An example of how I have developed my problem solving is when I completed the NOMA (National Online Maths Assessment) and achieved 81%.
Generate Ideas This can be used when researching and planning assignments. Also in workshops when working as a group. Our working together group had to generate ideas in order to plan our agency visit.

I have been generating ideas whilst planning my essay for the Values module.

Organise and Plan This can be organising and planning what work will be done each day or when you will go to the library or it can be your group planning when to study together. My working together group recently planned our visit to an agency and organised how we were all going to get there. I have made rough plans for my values assignment essay.

I have organised all of my folders into modules and topics.

My peer learning group have planned our agency visit.

Computing Skills This can be done when typing up assignments or lecture notes. It can also be when engaging with online resources. While completing online tasks and the online professional and academic units.
Listen to others This can be listening to lectures or other class mates in opinions in lectures or workshops. I have listened to many other people’s opinions in lectures and workshops to further develop my ideas and opinions.


Recognition Reflection Action
Skills to be developed How I will develop these How do I know (evidence) **
Share Opinions Confidently Whenever I have an opinion on anything. Just be confident and believe its right. If it’s wrong, that’s how you learn. I have now started to offer my opinions both in workshops with my group and online in discussions within the online units.
Acting as a leader Volunteer to be team leader and see how you get on, if it goes well then great. If it doesn’t, then work on what went wrong for next time.
Be Creative Encourage yourself to think more outside the box. I have had to be creative as I have designed my own blog and have made it personal to me. I have already posted interesting posts which are public to read.
Self Confidence Offer your opinions in lectures and workshops and talk to fellow classmates to share each other’s ideas and discuss. I have gone and talked to my advisor of studies about some of my worries and that has given me more confidence. I am planning on meeting with people from the academic skills centre to show them my values assignment planning. This will be to give me more reassurance and confidence in my ability.
Build Social Networks Try and get talking to as many people in your course, from the different disciplines. This will mean you can share ideas in the future and help each other. I have different groups of people that I talk to in order to help us all be as successful as possible. I have my friends group, my flat mates, people from my education course, my Spanish class group and people from my working together peer group.
Converse confidently Be confident in your voice and what you have to say when talking or debating anything with one of your peers. I have been able to share my ideas confidently in our working together groups.
Think Critically These can be developed by looking at critical thinking exercises in books on reading lists. It can also be done by thinking of questions asked in lectures and developing the answers. In my online tasks we have been given to do each week for values, they have made me think critically about different topics.
Evaluate Information Use the skills that I hope to develop with my critical thinking and employ them in order to evaluate reliability of information and sources. I have used these skills while researching for values assignment and picking out and evaluating information.
Debate both formally and informally Formally: take parts in discussions in lectures and workshops. Informally: Take part in discussions with peers out of class. I have had to discuss topics online with peers as well as formal discussions in the workshops for working together. People have different opinions and you have to debate professionally and correctly to develop this skill.
Negotiation When working in groups with people of different opinions, negotiate with each other to overcome these problems and move forward.
Take Responsibility Encourage myself to take on different roles in workshops and embrace the different responsibilities that come with these roles.
Take Risks When doing placements, if you are unsure if your lesson will work, try it and if it doesn’t, go back and reflect on it.


My second attempt of the OLA and NOMA assessments.

Today, I attempted both online assessments for the second time.

My results were as follows:

Literacy – 83% and Maths 81%.

I improved 3% in literacy and achieved the same score in maths. I was really happy with this, however I believe that I could have achieved a higher score in both tests. This was for various reasons. In the maths assessment, I made a few little mistakes that cost me marks which I should have picked up and a computer error lost me another mark. I could have achieved 87%, possibly slightly higher. In the literacy assessment, a computer error was also at fault for one mark.

I feel like these tests are a positive and effective method of assessing our skills. I also think that they are enjoyable to complete. I will continue to work on the mistakes I made and attempt to further develop my skills.

First Activity of the Professional and Academic Development Online Unit.

UNIT 1 – SECTION A, Activity

Identifying Skills and Abilities

Activity 1

This activity was to create an audit based on skills you already have. After this has been completed, we can then move on to figure out how to develop each skill. It was an effective method as it has shown me which exact skills are already developed and which I need to work on.

Rate yourself (1=Not very well developed; 3=very well developed)

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
Self-Discipline *
Share opinions confidently


Team work *
Acting as a leader *
Contribute to Discussions *
Write for Academic Purposes *
Work on own Initiative *
Be Creative *
Self Confidence *
Set Personal Goals *
Use technology *
Work Under Pressure *
Build Social Networks *
Manage Time *
Make Presentations *
Take Notes *
Converse Confidently *
Problem Solve *
Generate Ideas *
Thinking Critically *
Evaluate Information *
Organise and Plan *
Computing skills *
Debate both formally and informally *
Listen to Others *
Negotiation *
Take Responsibility *
Take Risks *

How important is learning languages in school? Sehr Wichtig!

For my latest blog post, I thought I would choose to write about something that I feel very passionate about. The importance of children learning languages in primary school from a very young age. It was actually the topic did a presentation on for my Dundee University Interview, more specifically the 1+2 approach which I believe is vital in young people’s learning. I myself have had a great experience learning languages throughout school. I achieved A grades at both National 5 and Higher level German and am currently studying Spanish as a year 1 elective on my Education course. The reason for my enjoyment for learning languages was that the teacher made it interesting and fun and allowed us to learn in many different ways.  I believe that positive environments and fun teaching methods are essential for our future generations and I would love to play a part in that. Learning languages has the power to change children’s lives and will give them skills that can help them be successful throughout school and in their futures. For example, my experience in languages was very effective to use while abroad in other countries.


I feel the most important thing is to aim to instil a love of learning into children. The world nowadays is hugely multilingual and in order for the children of today to fully prosper as citizens, they must learn the skills that learning languages offers them which will also lead to them having effective communication skills.

“In today’s global, multi-cultural world, it is more important than ever that young people have the opportunity to learn languages from an early age. The ability to speak different languages will equip Scotland’s young people with the skills and competencies needed in a 21st century global marketplace.” – Dr Alistair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages. (2015)

The delivery of an earlier start to language learning in primary school will be challenging for schools and teachers.  Although all pupils at the moment are entitled to learn a language from P6, there are concerns that some primary children do not have access to an additional language due to staffing, training or funding issues, or other perceived curricular priorities. There are also particular issues in very small primary schools, especially in rural areas, where there will only be a small number of teachers with responsibility for delivery of the whole curriculum. Without ongoing training, many primary teachers do not feel confident in teaching a modern language and some do not volunteer despite training. Nevertheless, there is evidence of staff in some primary schools working successfully with children on language learning from the beginning of primary or earlier. Other questions that will have to be answered are

  • Do existing teachers have the skills and teaching resources required for language tuition?
  • Are teachers equipped enough to help young people’s development? If not, how will the training occur?
  • The choice of which languages children learn. For example, which languages should kids be learning to benefit them in later life, their careers and help Scotland flourish economically.

However, there is no doubt about the many benefits that will come from language learning from an earlier age. It will undoubtedly help Scotland become a confident, multilingual country.  Some ways in which language learning can further benefit Scotland would be more effective use of technology and regular use of native/fluent speakers to engage the children and stimulate their interest in learning new languages and other cultures.

Practical uses of foreign languages in school that I have seen first hand are:

  • register taking
  • date and weather
  • lunch routines
  • staff greeting each other
  • PE ‘warm ups
  • distributing resources
  • classroom commands
  • praise
  • use in assemblies

Overall, All language learning is valuable, it stretches us intellectually, giving us insights into other cultures and customs, broadening our view of the world, opening up new trade and business opportunities and enabling us to communicate with others. It is my firm belief that language learning is vital in helping children achieve their potential and broaden their horizons no matter who they are.

Die Sprache kann die Welt verändern!